LUCKNOW: The entire Samajwadi Party and me especially, are deeply saddened over the sudden and unexpected demise of Kalam saab. A PJ Abdul Kalam was a truly secular, patriotic Indian. A very fine person and a good soul, he could be at home everywhere in India.
But most importantly, he was a world-class scientist, devoted to the country. I realised Kalamasaab’s worth when he worked with me as Defence Advisor. This was during my tenure as Defence Minister in the United Front Government. It was I who had suggested Kalam’s name to Prime Minister (Atal Behari) Vajpayee when his was looking for a suitable candidate for the President’s post. The talks between Vajpayee and the Congress had failed. No candidate acceptable to both the parties could be found. Then Maharashtra Governor P C Alexandar and Vice President Krishna Kant were not acceptable to the Congress. The votes were needed. I was visiting Vajpayeeji and suggested Kalamsaab’s name. Vajpayee, a true statesman, immediately agreed. So did Sonia Gandhi. It was, of course, Kalam saab’s reputation that made it impossible for them not to agree his candidature. He won the elections handsomely. And, I was proved right. Kalamsaab became a very successful, popular President. The most remarkable thing about him was his scientific temper and simple way of life. He had faced hardship in life. He recently visited Kannauj and he praised Akalesh Yadav’s solar project. That was the last time we met.
Mulayam Singh Yadav